Aaron Budlong rappels down the Guinness Tower in Vancouver wearing his daughter’s unicorn onesie to support the Easter Seals. (Kristi Calderon/Easter Seals)

PHOTOS: Langley man, 43, rappels down building wearing unicorn onesie

Easter Seals Drop Zone fundraiser raises money to support people with disabilities

A Langley resident was forced to face his fear of heights when he was volunteered to rappel down a 25-storey high building.

Aaron Budlong, 43, didn’t know it at the time, but his colleagues registered him to participate in this year’s Easter Seals Drop Zone.

“Easter Seals is a great charity to support but there are other ways,” said Budlong, referring to his fear of heights.

The organization provides local programs and services to support people with disability. This annual fundraiser benefits the Easter Seals House and the Easter Seals Camp.

READ MORE: Should I say ‘disabled person’ or ‘person with a disability’??

“Easter Seals House in Vancouver provides a low cost, caring place to stay for more than 100 parents and children every night,” according to the organization. “Our camp offers once-in-a-lifetime, week-long, fully accessible camping experiences for individuals living with disabilities, every summer.”

To participate in the drop zone challenge thrill-seekers were required to raise a minimum of $850 before the Sept. 12 event. Those who met the goal were then invited to rappel down the 25-storey high Guinness Tower located at 1055 West Hastings St. in Vancouver.

Budlong, the general manager at the Abbotsford Cabela’s, a retail store that sells outdoor merchandise, said this was his first time participating in an activity like this, and it will likely be his last.

“I could have backed out at any point in time but that wouldn’t have looked very good,” he said.”Truth be told, this is the last thing I would have chosen to be involved in. Definitely not a fan of heights.”

Budlong called his participating in the event “akin to seeing a unicorn,” which is why he decided he was going to complete the challenge while wearing his daughter’s unicorn onesie.

“Not very manly and very embarrassing for my wife,” he laughed.

READ MORE: B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

The glass building proved to be slippery on the day of the event thanks to the rain, which Budlong said “added to the excitement.”

“My mind was so consumed with operating the rappelling device and just getting down that I didn’t take the time to actually think about what was going on,” he said.

The top two costume were each awarded a $500 gift certificate from Breakaway Experiences. The company is known for their “adrenaline pumping driving, flying and water sports experiences to invigorating spa days and tasty culinary tours.”

Later this year participants from across Canada will learn if their name was drawn as the winner of the national grand prize package which includes a $1,000 Breakaway Experiences gift certificate; two round-trip flights to Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa or Toronto; hotel accommodations and car rental services.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

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